With the arrest of Aaron Juan Saucedo on Friday by Phoenix Police Department the DPS has received inquiries about any involvement that DPS may have had with evidence related to that arrest, specifically a highpoint 9mm handgun. There is no evidence to suggest that the arrest of Saucedo is tied to any DPS investigations. The following are answers to specific questions that have been posed:
Has DPS been in contact with Phoenix PD about this case?
As in all cases, DPS communicates with its law enforcement partners and has been in contact with Phoenix PD regarding its recent arrest of Aaron Juan Saucedo and any evidence that may be in DPS’s possession relating to Phoenix’s case. This case is no different.
Can Saucedo be linked to the DPS Freeway shooter case?
DPS routinely reviews prudent information it receives on open cases. Information regarding the arrest of Saucedo led DPS to review the investigation into Leslie Merritt. At this time there is no evidence linking the two cases.
Did they know each other?
DPS does not have evidence to suggest that Saucedo and our suspect know each other.
Was the same gun involved in both cases?
Information from both cases was submitted to the National Integrated Ballistics Network (NIBN) database. There was no match.
Were all 8 guns in the DPS Freeway shooter case test fired and compared?
DPS test fired eight (8) weapons obtained from valley pawn shops. Consistent with best forensic practice and standards, upon examination of the fourth weapon, testing ceased due to a confirmed match between the weapon and the evidence recovered from the victim’s vehicles.
Is DPS taking another look into the DPS Freeway shooter case based on the arrest of Saucedo?
DPS does not have any new information resulting from the arrest of Saucedo that would lend to our investigation of Leslie Merritt.
Is DPS surprised by the coincidences between the Freeway shooter case and that of Saucedo?
No, not based on any information we have at this time. It is common for criminals to dispose of evidence to cover-up their crimes. These crimes were committed around similar time periods.